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Sparkfun TLC5940 Breakout


#1

Has anybody connected the Sparkfun TLC5940 Breakout module to the FEZ Spider ?
I got one of these boards when i ordered my FEZ Spider KIT, but cannot find any tutorials ore example codes to use it.

I am a newby in Prototyping, never used Arduino or any other FEZ boards. Started FEZ Spider, because i know a bit VB.NET, and this “Should be supported any time now” . I try all kinds of examples in C# , which dont work because the samples evidently are NOT suitable for FEZ.Spider. I would like to know which basic documentation i can start with to make me familiar with which type of project i should create to test certain examples.

When i create a .Net Gadgeteer Application, i get most things to work on my spider.
Some examples use for example PersistantStorage, which will simply not compile on my spider
Can i create a MF EMX application or NetDuino application to run on the FEZ SPider ?
Help


#2

Whoa, Bert, whoa… it helps if you keep the questions one to a post. To use anything that is not a gadgeteer module with a Spider, you’ll need an Extender module and breadboard. There are so many breakouts for so many chips like this that you’re lucky if you find something even remotely close in platform and code.

What are you looking to do with all these PWMs? If you can get the board to work on one of the smaller FEZes or an Arduino first, it’s pretty straightforward to port that to a Gadgeteer driver.

We’re here to help, but you are in uncharted territory.


#3

I agree with ransomhall that it’s a good idea to start with a simple project and build up from there. You can move into sophisticated devices quite quickly after mastering the basics.

On the software front - were you able to build the camera application in the Getting Started Guide? This guide is installed with the GHI Gadgeteer SDK and includes a detailed walkthrough on how to build a first gadget in C#.

From there, check out the Gadgeteer projects at http://code.tinyclr.com/tagged/#do=filterByTags&page=1 and http://www.netmf.com/gadgeteer/showcase.aspx?showcaseid=2 for more examples that should work with your Fez Spider kit.

If you run into trouble with a particular sample, please post a link to it along with any error messages, pics, etc.


#4

Thanks Kerry (and ransomhall) for the reaction. Problem is that i get most of the tutorial done (and more). Mostly ui have to make small adjustments to get it working. I do get the bascis of the FEZ platform. I have built the camera example (just on the T35, not on SD card yet !). Also i could do all i want with buttons, Leds, Joystick an Display. Even used the Extender board to switch LEDS, read a Potmeter (I dont have the readymade GHI Pot model). flash some LEDS (Knightrider) and even control a servo. So im past the BASIC BASICS.

My problem is that i have ZERO experience with arduino or other prot boards. not even Basic Stamps or anything of the kind. I specificly got the FEZ, becaus it is so easy to get started. (The auto generated code when connecting up your modules and all). When, for instance, i try the SD Tutorial(s), they mostly use the PersistentStorage class. When i use that, It just throws errors (exeptions) all the time. I Do get to read my Card though, by using the RemovableMedia class. Also the example uses FileStream, but that too doesnt seem to work. I think i am missing some basic knowHow on which libraries and classes and references i need for what.

Is there any way to destinct between (in tutorials or exampleCode) between .NET Gageteer Application or other types, I tried the EMX Application type, but then some other things dont work.


#5

@ Berto62

In general, when you’re working with a Gadgeteer board and modules, you’ll want to stick with the Gadgeteer project style. While the underlying mcu on the Spider board is EMX, trying to mix and match Gadgeteer code and basic .NET MF code will likely not work well, because Gadgeteer code is largely event driven, while code for other microcontrollers is largely procedural.

You can certainly code to the underlying hardware, and even write c-style code using GHI’s RLP feature (runtime-loadable procedures - see wiki.tinyclr.com/index.php?title=RLP_Getting_Started for more info on RLP), but using Gadgeteer hardware that way loses some of the advantage of the platform, namely a higher degree of abstraction.

If you want to start doing something a little lower level, then you might want to pick up one of the other FEZ boards like the Domino or Panda II.

In terms of distinguishing when looking at sample code, if the sample doesn’t specifically mention Gadgeteer, it probably isn’t Gadgeteer code. Another thing to watch for is if a sample uses a while(true) loop, it’s probably not a Gadgeteer sample. Apart from that, you can look for the Gadgeteer namespace in the using declarations.

The other thing that helps is time and more coding. Over time, you’ll become more familiar with the style of Gadgeteer vs. regular .NET MF projects, so it’ll be easier to tell the difference.


#6

Thanks ,

I dont mind learning by trial and error. ususually i get things to work, but i was just wondering if i was overlooking some real basic stuff, some “if only i knew THAT before” things, but now that you have ensured me that it is normal to be a little confused in the beginning, i am happy to try and when i get stuck, shout for help.

thanks again.
Bert